The Game Changer
Man, the last 6 weeks have challenged me and grown me in ways I never imagined. I went in with goals to get faster and qualify for the Olympic Trials (still main goal), but also went in with the attitude that if I do this I'm going to do it right and take care of my health. As an athlete your number one priority is taking amazing care of your health. It's what powers you to perform. I never knew the benefits that would come when not just physical health took priority, but doing everything in my power to take of my mind.
Mental health is so important to me. If you've followed me at all you know this. I've struggled with anxiety, depression, and eating disorders, plus insomnia. Let me tell you something friends; our mind are powerful. They can dictate so much of our lives. It's really crazy. I can tell you when it's out of control and you end up in the ER from an overdoes, it's debilitating. It controls your life and dictates what your life looks like.
There is HOPE!
Friends, I've learned it take a lot of work. I've been in counselling the last 3 years. I've been on meds for 3 years. Took ambien for 5 years before that...don't do that. PLEASE.
But there has been something that is more powerful than I ever imagined. Guess what? It's a daily thing, honestly, moment by moment. But it has been a game changer in my life and in my performance.
The last 6 weeks I committed to myself that I would:
- journal every single day
- I would spend time with Jesus
- write down at least 3 things I'm grateful for (did you know that's actually scientifically proven to raise serotonin levels, the happy hormone, in your brain)
- now I've started this journal called Victorious Emotions. EVERY SINGLE DAY.
- REST is top priority as well.
All of this is prioritized BEFORE RUNNING!
That means most mornings I take slow. I sleep as long as I feel necessary, I often get up between 7-8am. I usually eat breakfast and then go do these 3-4 things at a coffee shop and take my time doing them. And you want to know something. My fitness is improving. My stress levels are decreasing. My mental strength is growing. Peace and confidence are FLOODING MY LIFE.
Yes friends, I don't wake up at 6 am to go for my run. I often don't do it first thing. I have prioritized my mental health and stress above anything else.
For me that means spending time with Jesus and absorbing his truths. The journal I'm doing (even if you're not a believer), will change your life. It's resting and absorbing God's truths and proclaiming them over your life. It's bring dreams to light, speaking truth and thankfulness everyday, it's celebrating the victories of everyday, it's rewiring your brain to focus on the goodness of God and this life. This time to process and slow down and rest has CHANGED MY LIFE!
I have found confidence I have never had before. I'm catching thoughts that tear me down and fighting against them. I'm believing in my dreams. I'm conquering life. I am no longer surviving. I AM LIVING! All because I'm take 30-90 minutes a day to reset my brain and focus on God's truths and not the lies of this world.
I honestly don't think I've ever lived this fully and confidently. I dream of the day I cross the finish line at the Trials. I picture it in my head and focus on that becoming a reality. I replay victorious moments in brain to remind me that is a way of life, not just a one time thing.
I will tell you this. It takes work. But friends, it is a game changer. If you are wanting to reach a new goal or heck, just enjoy life more, you will not regret slowing down and spending time fighting for your mental health. Your capacity to do more will grow, your confidence will grow, joy will shine brightly through you, peace will come, and so will rest.
I never knew how important mental health was until I reached rock bottom and then tried to accomplish one of the most grueling mental competitions on earth, the marathon. The more I have taken care of my mental health, the more I've improved as an athlete. But better yet, the more I'm living in FREEDOM and GRACE. I'm LIVING! But you have to FIGHT, FIGHT FOR IT! It is so worth it. It's daily. It's often momentarily. You have a choice in the matter. For so long, I thought this was just something I was forced to live with. Now, I know I have a say in the matter. Don't get me wrong, I have to take medicine. My brain is imbalanced and medically I have a disease, but I still have a say. I choose to let it win. Or I can choose to FIGHT! And I will tell you God will fight with you. You are not alone. But don't sit back and think change will happen with just the flip of a switch.
I will also tell you this. I really believe this should be top priority. Your day may not look like mine. That's okay, find what works for you. But hold to it. Not out of obligation or a religious principal, but because it is so FREAKING AWESOME! Ah! I want everyone to experience this freedom to live. It has changed so much for me. It impacts relationships, my confidence, my business, my running, my attitude, EVERYTHING. No joke.
Want to change the game? Want your life to look different? Want to live the life you were called to live? THEN FIGHT! Fight for your mental health. Live a VICTORIOUS life!